Jim Mings and Monty Craig formed the jazz guitar duo Mings and Craig to release their debut album Day By Day. Although both have a personal career, academically teaching included, they joined forces in 2015.
To enjoy the album, it requires two basic preconditions. Firstly, you have to like a pure guitar album. Secondly, you have to love jazz guitar standard music.
Day By Day starts with the duet of both jazz guitarists. They change the lead back and forth, while the seconding guitarist takes over the rhythm or even more harmonious additions. Stylistically the piece is paced in Latin American Bossa Nova.
Angel Eyes is first scanning in the melody before gains momentum. The slow timed tune has slightly a Django Reinhardt feeling. Emily is a popular song composed by Johnny Mandel. It was the title song to the 1964 filmThe Americanization of Emily. Mings and Craig fine tune the song in his original Waltz character.
Nature Boy is a song first recorded by American jazz singer Nat King Cole in 1948. Legions of guitarists have covered this song. Now Mings and Craig have joined this list and they add a second take at the end of the album. When Lights Are Low was composed by Benny Carter with Spencer Williams in 1936. The original was an uplifting swing, the interpretation is a solid compulsory exercise.
Til There Was You is a song written by Meredith Willson for his 1957 musical play The Music Man. When you have listened to the rendition of Etta Jones, you know the difference to this version. I Thought About You is a 1939 popular song composed by Jimmy Van Heusen with lyrics by Johnny Mercer. Diana Krall, Billie Holiday or Miles Davis are among the interpreters of this song. Mings and Craig adds their own style.
These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You) is a standard with lyrics by Eric Maschwitz and music by Jack Strachey. Billie Holiday’s rendering of the song was a first highlight, further followed by Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and many more. Mings and Craig perform the song with great gentleness. Round Midnight is a 1944 jazz standard by pianist Thelonious Monk. This song is mostly played by everyone in jazz history and counts to the learning repertoire of every music university with a jazz department.
Jim’s Swing is Jim Ming’s creation and has a nice jazz groove. A free routine of these doyens.
This album sounds like a textbook of jazz standards. The old rule “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” applies.
Title: Day By Day
Artist: Mings & Craig
1 Day By Day 6:10
2 Angel Eyes 5:53
3 Emily 6:21
4 Nature Boy (Take 2) 5:21
5 When Lights Are Low 7:11
6 Till There Was You 8:54
7 I Thought About You 6:00
8 These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You) 6:50
9 ’round Midnight 7:20
10 Jim’s Swing 6:30
11 Nature Boy (Take 1) 7:47
Review from smooth-jazz.de
Available at: http://mingsandcraig.com/listen/, iTunes, Amazon